The MSPT Iowa Main Event Awards Michael Berk $142,467

Riverside Casino hosted the latest Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) main event. The $1,100 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournament attracted 718 players who formed a $694,960 prize pool and it had three starting flights.

Its leading 72 entrants won at least $2,293 each. But Michael Berk won the $142,467 top prize and MSPT title after beating all his opponents. The Chesterton resident has $285,632 in poker career earnings now and it was his maiden tournament win.

What the Leading Finalists Won

1. Michael Berk-$142,467 and 912 Card Player Player of the Year (POY) points
2. Adam Tolander-$86,878 and 760 POY points
3. Renata Spahiu0$64,631 and 608 POY points
4. Steven Federspiel-$47,952 and 456 POY points
5. Ryan Winsdor-$36,138 and 380 POY points
6. Joseph Saltanovitz-$27,103 and 304 POY points
7. Jimmy Dennis-$20,849 and 228 POY points
8. Ryan Tepen-$16,679 and 152 POY points
9. Max Havlish-$12,509 and 76 POY points

The Final Day’s Highlights

Only 92 players advanced to the final day and its action lasted for over 12 hours. Some of the entrants who won money included Daniel Bekavac, Mo Nuwwarah, Angela Joridson, Larry Wagner, Nicola Di Tripani, Brett Reichard, DJ Buckley, Wesley Cannon, Josh Reichard, and Michael Estes. Yet, several renowned players left the final table early.

Max Havlish (reigning MSPT winner) exited the tournament in ninth place. Ryan Tepen followed Havlish in eighth place. The former has more than $1 million in poker tournament earnings and is a professional.

Steven Federspiel, an MSPT winner, was eliminated in the fourth position. Renato Spahiu’s run ended in third place setting up a heads-up battle between Adam Tolander and Berk.

Berk had a small chip lead of 9,660,000:8,290,000 over Tolander when they resumed playing. The latter pulled ahead briefly before the former retained the stack lead.

He increased it fast until Tolander used JHeart Suit10Spade Suit on the last hand to move all-in on the preflop. Berk used QHeart SuitJDiamond Suit to cover him, and KSpade Suit6Diamond Suit4Diamond Suit4Heart SuitKClub Suit landed on the board.

Tolander finished as a runner-up with a $86,878 consolation prize, which was the largest payout in his career. Berk won the first-place prize and informed MSPT reporters after his victory that he felt great since he has played many events in the past and narrowly lost some of them. But the poker pro won his first competitive event after losing his I.T. job.

Berk admitted that he had low hopes of winning the title in the tournament’s early stages. But the odds favored him and extended his run.

He acknowledged everyone who believed in him during the tournament. Berk thanked his parents, family, and rail comprising Jackie, Alex, and Terence for cheering him on.

The pro revealed that they have played a key role in growing his poker career. Running Aces Casino in Columbus will hold the next MSPT stop between March 23 and April 2. But, its $1,110 main event will be between March 30 and April 2.

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